- to walk or go with faltering steps, as if from extreme weakness.
- to sway or rock on the base or ground, as if about to fall: The tower seemed to totter in the wind. The government was tottering.
- to shake or tremble: a load that tottered.
- the act of tottering; an unsteady movement or gait.
Origin of totter
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for totter
His cheeks bright red, his chin wet with spittle, the helot would weave and stagger and totter until he passed out in the dirt.Persian Fire and Rubicon (Full)
September 23, 2012
In the long run, the regime might indeed begin to totter: This is the entire point.Iran and the Sanctions Trap
Stephen L. Carter
July 31, 2011
The virtue contained in the things will cause him to totter.
"He air gone," she said chokingly, coming forward with a totter.Tess of the Storm Country
Grace Miller White
There was a great shock, and the cabin seemed to totter on the brink of the chasm.Frank Merriwell's Bravery
Burt L. Standish
Now he could totter off with a light heart and get a bite of lunch.Jill the Reckless
P. G. (Pelham Grenville) Wodehouse
He now is seen to reel and totter to his cabin, late at night oftentimes.Shadows of Shasta
- to walk or move in an unsteady manner, as from old age
- to sway or shake as if about to fall
- to be failing, unstable, or precarious
- the act or an instance of tottering
Word Origin and History for totter
c.1200, "swing to and fro," perhaps from a Scandinavian source (cf. dialectal Norwegian totra "to quiver, shake"). Meaning "stand or walk with shaky, unsteady steps" is from c.1600. Related: Tottered; tottering.